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Bishop Baraga, 150 years later

By Larry Chabot, Photos courtesy of Marquette Regional History Center January 19th marks the 150th anniversary of the death of Bishop Frederic Baraga. The diocese of Marquette, where Baraga was the first bishop, has scheduled a series of events for January 19 to 20 to commemorate the death and celebrate the life of the famed […]

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The White Star

By Amy Gawry Downtown Marquette’s Coachlight Restaurant has been operating under its current name and management for four decades, and is a favorite of many locals. Seeing it as the Coachlight for so long, it may be hard to imagine it as anything else, but the building has housed a number of businesses in its […]

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Bridge, balloon & a prison break

  Story by Larry Chabot Illustrations by Mike McKinney Finally, a bridge over the Mackinac Straits, that five-mile-wide waterway separating Michigan’s two peninsulas! Pre-bridge frustrations abounded, like 15-mile-long lines of hunters waiting to cross, line jumpers paying the penalty as angry drivers picked up offenders’ cars and turned them around, local residents car-sitting (for a […]

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Honoring history

By Larry Chabot The Michigan Iron Industry Museum—a first class museum in a first rate facility—has been educating and entertaining visitors for over 30 years. Regional iron mining history started near here in 1844 with the discovery of iron deposits by surveyor William Burt (who is also credited with inventing the typewriter). Evidence of this […]

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HURLEY

By Larry Chabot If you walk west out of Ironwood and cross the state-line bridge into Wisconsin, you’re on historic Silver Street in Hurley, toughest town on the Iron Range. At its peak during Prohibition (1920-1933), Hurley was home to an estimated 130 illegal bars, many disguised as legitimate store fronts selling candy and fountain […]

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Names on a wall

by Larry Chabot There’s little to see at the Italian Hall tragedy site in Calumet, where 73 people lost their lives on Christmas Eve 1913. At the quiet corner of 7th and Elm, the site offers a brick walkway and archway made of Italian Hall bricks, plus a few plaques and a historical marker. There […]

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The Cuba connection

By Larry Chabot On June 24, 1961, Cuban rebel Fidel Castro took control of his island nation, installed a Communist regime, and spurred a counter movement which reached all the way to Marquette. Cuban parents were being fed warnings that their children would be sent to the Soviet Union to serve in work camps and […]

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Ike and Irene

By Larry Chabot Ike is coming! Ike is coming! The people in the little town of Watersmeet had been tipped off that Dwight “Ike” Eisenhower, the former president and World War II hero, was heading their way on vacation, six months after leaving office. The first public notice was a July 16, 1961, Associated Press […]

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Where is it?

By Larry Chabot Whoever and wherever they are, they’ve hidden for 37 years a treasure stolen for their private enjoyment. What is it? A one-of-a-kind, extremely valuable Tiffany window, taken from the Kaufman Mausoleum in Marquette’s Park Cemetery sometime around 1980. Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933) was an American artist and designer renowned for his stained […]

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A flour mill in Salo, lost in history

by Diana Richter Hidden in the woods four miles north of Hancock, Michigan, are the ruins of a dam on the Boston Creek, one of the main watersheds that flows to the Portage Ship Canal. Along the creekbank downstream from the dam lie several large concrete culverts through which once flowed water from the dam […]

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Kaufman dodges Wall Street bombing

By Larry Chabot The corner of Wall and Broad streets—center of New York’s financial district—was filling with a pre-lunch crowd on September 16, 1920. The powerful J. P. Morgan Company was headquartered on one side of the street, and a U.S. Treasury Department building on the other. A horse-drawn wagon stopped in front of the […]

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Romance, mystery, arson at the Opera House

By Larry Chabot In the 19th century, so-called “opera houses” were opening in almost every decent-sized city. Seldom, if ever, did they ever present an actual opera. The name was often an upscale cover for an otherwise ordinary venue, in an attempt to make them acceptable to those who shunned commonplace theaters. Marquette had an […]

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Help from above

— Larry Chabot Imagine airplanes thundering overhead every two minutes, 24 hours a day, non-stop, for 15 months. One-a-minute, some days. How could one sleep through the racket? But if that cargo passing overhead was saving lives, well, that’s okay. That’s exactly what happened, and at least two U.P. men were among those who pulled […]

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Earnest Pearce’s amazing visitor

by Larry Chabot This is a three-star story spotlighting a legendary “miracle” woman, a local banker who appeared before 25 million people, and the worst maritime disaster in Great Lakes history. August 30, 1915: there was great commotion at Marquette’s Lower Harbor as 400 Knights Templar, on their annual Great Lakes tour, were disembarking from the […]

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Abbott and Costello meet the U.P.

by Larry Chabot For a long stretch in the mid-20th Century, few entertainers were as celebrated as the comedy team of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. Their 36 motion pictures between 1940 and 1956 put them on the list of the top 10 box office draws year after year. They hit No. 1 in 1942—a […]

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